Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

I can help lift your career

Like many people, I stumbled into the world of recruitment. I graduated in the mid-1990s and was looking for my first job in London, with a role in sales being my goal. Meeting various recruitment firms, a common theme quickly became evident: “Have you ever thought about working in recruitment?”

I hadn’t, but I started to investigate what a career in recruitment would be like. The industry seemed to tick a lot of boxes – it is people-focused, sales-orientated, has clear goals, and is varied and interesting. The rest, as they say, is history.

I joined a growing professional-services specialist with a great training scheme that was staffed by a fantastic bunch of people. The next four years were a blur as recruitment in London rocketed. I learned a lot about both how to recruit and also how to differentiate myself and my services from my competitors.

The next eight years saw me help establish two recruitment businesses, essentially from scratch, while increasing my level of seniority. Eventually, I was running pan-regional searches for MD-level hires. This involved travelling to Asia on numerous occasions, and when I first landed in Hong Kong, it was love at first sight.

I helped set up a Hong Kong office in 2008 and then decided to move out here with my family. After three years recruiting in the debt capital markets space on a pan-Asian basis, I took time out to complete personal projects and take stock of my own career. I decided to broaden my skill set through further education and took a teaching and a coaching qualification. I worked for an executive-coaching firm running courses on pitching, negotiation and sales. My role also involved one-to-one coaching sessions using psychometric tools, which I found both interesting and valuable.

A friend introduced me to Links International, which was looking for someone to run their banking and finance team. When I met Debbie Matson, our MD, I knew I had found a firm I could work for. It was professional and highly motivational, while also being open, engaging and collegiate in approach.

I’m really looking forward to working as a Career Doctor, as I feel my 20 years of experience in advising candidates how to advance their careers within the finance industry will stand me in good stead. I have worked across a broad range of experience and specialisations and have seen demand for various skill sets rise and fall. As a consequence, I can provide insight on how to capitalise on, and package, experience in a way which will be compelling to potential employers.

My experience as an executive coach has also given me a different perspective as to how people perceive and consequently present themselves. I’m looking forward to helping people analyse their motivations and aspirations while developing their career.

Fraser Douglas is managing consultant of Links International’s banking and finance team. With a strong regional presence in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, Links International provides recruitment, payroll and HR services.